Columbia University Libraries and MLA Receive NEH Digital Humanities Implementation Grant

“We look forward to the expansion of our partnership with the MLA to increase and improve upon the ways in which humanities scholars collaborate and communicate, which is core to our efforts here at Columbia,” said Barbara Rockenbach, Interim Associate University Librarian of Collections and Services.

In connection with Humanities Commons, a social networking site that encourages collaboration and communication among humanists, Humanities CORE intends to simplify the processes involved in promoting access to original scholarship. As Commons facilitates conversation among academics, CORE provides a space to host the scholarly research central to those dialogues.

The $300,000 grant from the NEH will allow CUL and the MLA to ensure that CORE remains as easy to use as possible, offering a streamlined method of uploading, storing and distributing research that minimizes any burden to users.  To do so, the partners will work toward more complete integration with institutional repositories and other scholarly communication platforms. CORE will also track usage of contributors’ work, including statistics on citations and downloads, and share data with authors, further improving the quality of users’ experience.

To promote CORE as an interdisciplinary service, CUL and the MLA will establish Commons networking sites for academic organizations in a number of fields within the humanities, which will in turn use CORE as a collective repository.  The result – an innovative, collaborative effort between two otherwise disparate entities – fills a long-standing need among humanists that Rockenbach expects will increase the dissemination and use of scholarly materials.

“The long-term impacts of our work will ensure a deep interconnectedness, long-term archiving, and the broad sharing of the work of humanists in ways that had not previously been possible,” said Rockenbach.

Columbia University Libraries is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 13 million volumes, over 160,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The Libraries employs more than 400 professional and support staff and hosts over 4.7 million visitors each year.  The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: